Massachusetts City Moves To Enact Sanctuary Policies

Despite recent murders blamed, in part, on sanctuary city policies, …
AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Despite recent murders blamed, in part, on sanctuary city policies, a city council in Massachusetts has voted in favor of becoming the latest locality to adopt a policy of limited compliance with federal immigration officials.

Tuesday night, Lawrence City Council voted 7-2 to limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials seeking to enforce federal immigration law, according to reports.

Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, who publicly opposed the measure due to concerns for public safety, announced Wednesday he would not veto it.

“The message was clear for its support, and I will not stand in its way,” Rivera said in a statement according to The Boston Globe.

The Globe reports that the Lawrence policy, called Trust Ordinance “bars police from detaining anyone for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement unless the federal agency has a criminal warrant for an arrest” and it “also prohibits ICE from using city facilities, databases, booking lists, or obtaining any information about individuals in custody without a criminal warrant.”

The city’s move to shield illegal immigrants from deportation comes amid recent public outcry over the murder of Kathryn Steinle.

Steinle was allegedly shot by a multiple-deportee illegal immigrant with a lengthy rap sheet who had been released from law enforcement’s custody less than three months before due to San Francisco’s sanctuary policy of not honoring detainers.

Since Steinle’s murder the House has voted to crack down on law enforcement grants for sanctuary jurisdictions and lawmakers in the Senate are working on legislation targeting sanctuary cities as well.

Lawrence itself dealt recently with murder allegedly at the hands of illegal immigrants. The Globe notes that last month two illegal immigrants with deportation orders were arrested for allegedly shooting and killing a grandmother, Mirta Rivera, as she slept.

According to The Globe, 37 percent of Lawrence’s population are foreign born and 74 percent are Latino.